You would need a magnifying glass to see these scenes in person.
With a macro lens though, critters like this little kahuli (Achantinella fuscobasis), a native Hawaiian snail, get captured in full detail.
A macro lens is a specialized lens that can focus on at a very close distance to an object. And it will also typically magnify the object. That makes it really handy for shooting small things.
Most of the plants and creatures you see in this collection of photos are native to the Hawaiian Islands.
The photographer behind this wonderful collection of photos is my friend, Francis Joy (pictured above). His friends simply call him “J.”
J is an avid Hawaii rock climber and currently the head route setter for Volcanic Rock Gym here on Oahu. He also hikes almost every weekend in Hawaii. It was being out on the trails that got J interested in photography.
When J first started hiking, his hiking friends would constantly take breaks to shoot photos of the views they were seeing. To kill time he would look around for native plants and bugs. Armed with just his iPhone and a little marco lens attachment, he started taking close-up shots of anything native he found.
There’s a growing number of hikers in Hawaii that have turned their attention to learning about native Hawaiian species. When J connected with those folks he learned a lot and got more inspired. He started researching native flora and fauna on his own and then picked up a DSLR camera with a real macro lens and started honing his craft. As you can see, he’s gotten pretty good.
Now when J hikes or backpacks, his main source of inspiration is finding native Hawaiian species.
I took this photo of J when we were out in the forest sometime last year. He was walking ahead of me and I saw him walk up to a tree, get real close and start snapping away. In my head I was thinking, “Why the hell is he doing?” When I got closer I saw that he was shooting photos of a brown cocoon looking thing. I was still confused.
Then J popped off his macro lens and handed to me. I placed it on my camera and I saw this…
He wasn’t actually taking photos of that cocoon looking thing, there was a little bug on top that I couldn’t even see before. You need to hold the camera really still (and even hold your breath) to maintain your focus with a macro lens. It takes a lot of practice to get good at this type of photography.
I hope you’ll enjoy this photo collection of (mostly) native Hawaiian plants and creatures from Hawaii nature photographer Francis Joy.
A juvenile koa beetle (Coleotichus Blackburniae).
Adult koa beetle (Coleotichus blackburniae).
Akoko planthoppers (Dictyophordelphax mirabilis).
American lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis).
Cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae).
Fiery skipper butterfly (Hylephila phyleus).
Nananana makaki’i / happy face spider (Theridion grallator).
Kamehameha butterfly caterpillar (vanessa tamehameha).
Ko’oloa ‘ula – Red ‘Ilima (Abutilon menziesii).
Koa butterfly (Udari blackburni).
Ma oli oli (Schiedea hookeri).
Mikinalo flower (Drosera anglica).
Flesh fly found at Kawainui Marsh (this one is not native to Hawaii).
Pinao ula (Megalagrion hawaiiense).
Umi’i akoko / akoko planthopper (Dictyophordelphax swezeyi).
Wandering glider (Pantala flavescens) top view.
Wandering glider (Pantala flavescens).
Weevil (Lixus mastersi).
Western pygmy blue (brephidium exilis).
White rumped shama.
I also wanted to share a few of J’s landscape photos. Being that he hikes so much, he often sees some amazing views.